“These days…cervical cancer has become a disease of the poor, uneducated minority.”
Just like Jeanette’s reaction to the above statement in her article, that’s exactly how I felt when I was told at 7 years old that fat people were “lazy and stupid.”
Obviously, neither one of those statements was or is true.
However, when you look at the data (that Jeanette points out in her article as well), “black women suffer the highest mortality rate due to cervical cancer and Latinas suffer from the highest incidence rate.”
She goes on to point out that the reason why that is so is due to a variety of factors that most people don’t consider, such as a lack of access to preventive care.
She goes on to point out that this is truly an unjust reality for black and Latina women and this is why she took that hard truth and became such an advocate.
Similar to obesity, according to research, the highest obesity rates fall among Blacks followed by Latinos. And similar to Jeanette’s statement above, there’s a variety of factors that come into play and it’s just not fair!
Jeanette sums it up beautifully with this statement
“But the hardest truth boils down to this—to avoid being in my shoes as one of the roughly 13,000 women diagnosed with cervical cancer last year, you must love, listen to, protect, and prioritize your body.”
The part about loving, listening to, protecting and prioritizing your body applies to everything not only when it comes to avoiding cervical cancer.
The reason I’m sharing this with you is because I recently learned that this beautiful soul, Jeanette Acosta, passed away just last December at the young age of 32. She was a very accomplished Latina, just take a look at her obituary.
I didn’t personally know her but one of my friends on Facebook shared her story on her feed and I immediately felt compelled to share her message with my community.
Like many and all cancer stories, I have no idea why or how she got cancer and died just one year later. But her message about prioritizing your body is so powerful that I just felt called to share.
As a passionate Latina myself there is so much that I want to do for others to make this world a better place but I learned a while back that it’s not worth sacrificing my health (and by health, I mean mental, physical, emotional, spiritual – everything!) for it and I won’t do it.
However, by finding and re-calibrating my own personal balance in every stage of life, I am actually able to do it all and stay in the pursuit of happiness. And for me personally, it starts with prioritizing my health and wellbeing.
I see it way too common these days in both male and female. They get so caught up with climbing the ladder and success which leads to too much stress that the first thing to go out the door is their health.
Same goes with businesses and corporations – many still don’t see the value in helping their workforce remain healthy by prioritizing prevention and holistic health education.
By no means am I perfect (Lord knows that for sure) but my health is my priority. And it’s only because I prioritize my health that I’m able to be productive, to show up as my best self, be present, mindful and high performing. I’m not pointing any fingers, trust me, we’re all in this together. Cancer is still such a mystery.
I don’t know when society began to get in such a hurry to do more, and make more money and this and that.
There is time for all of it.
My biggest takeaway from reading about Jeanette is that yes, it’s okay to be passionate and have purpose and have the drive and desire to be successful and make an impact and do it all BUT you need to pace yourself and not sacrifice your health for it.
There is time.
Two of my favorite books that I highly recommend to my clients, friends and families to help you on your journey:
- Wellbeing – The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath and Jim Harter
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Check out some of the other resources I mention here to help you on your way.
I’ll be sharing more this month regarding exactly what I do and how I do it to find some balance in this crazy, beautiful and mysterious life.
Schedule a complimentary consultation with me here – you don’t have to figure this out all on your own. Or just hit reply and tell me know how I can help.
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With love, health and happiness,
Brenda V. Sillas, MBA, CHES, INHC